Top 10 Xmas CDs

Tired of hearing the same old Xmas music? I sure am. In the mall, in the car, on TV, it’s like the same 10 songs get played 10 million times. If you’re sick of “O, Baby Rudolph’s Rocking Chestnut Bells Are Coming to Town”, check some of these out. They are in heavy rotation at my house.


Satchmo Claus. I could do without the cringe-worthy reading of ‘Twas the Night Before, and the tacked-on Wonderful World. But the rest is pure joy, especially Zat You Santy Claus?


No commercial dog is going to ruin my Christmas.


We got this in a one of those listening stations at a gift store on the Cape. Usually those things seem like cheesy ripoffs, but not this time.  Really pretty instrumental stuff. Transports you a million miles from stuff like “Black Friday.”


These are a little overexposed, but hey, my last name is Rankin. Paul Frees as the Burgermeister used to terrify me (along with the Bumble) now I’m trying not to turn into him. Quick, somebody give me a yo-yo!


Comfort food on a CD. Put this (or I assume any of the previous 7 volumes) and the room immediately warms up. People smile, and it smells like something delicious is cooking. I get the urge to whittle. I don’t know how this happens, but it does.


Unbelievably weird and poetic cautionary tale about the consequences of actually getting what you wish for. Voodoo, a baby named Almond Joy, a rooster turned into a 1965 Thunderbird, the Blue Dwarf of the Clear-cut Forest, the Androgyny of the Rusted Industrial Belt, everything you need for a perfect holiday.


Awesome surfstrumental Xmas album. Holy ’60s Santa Claus, Batman. Before you know it, you’ll be Twisting to “Frosty the Snowman” and Frugging to “Jingle Bells.” The highlight for me is the insanely cheery quote of The Beatles’ “I Feel Fine” blended into “Rudolph.” It’s the only time I’ve ever heard anyone play the Beatles played better than they played themselves. Blasphemy, I know.


Ella is and always will be The Voice to my ears. I’d listen to her reading a grocery list. Songs you’ve heard a trillion times are renewed, and she owns them. Playing this disc is makes me jealous of my parents, who grew up with this music.


Put a little JD in your egg nog and put on this slide of Rat Perfection. As someone who would give his right arm to have been at one of their shows at the Sands, this is a must own for me. I’ve never heard Frank so relaxed and happy as he is on I Believe, with just the right touch of snap and swagger. Even the schmaltz of Marshmallow World goes down easy. And Dino crooning in fake German, and generally drunkifying “Rudolph”? Cannot be topped. Except for…


The King of Christmas CDs in our house. We discovered this about 15 years ago, and instantly fell in love with it. Put it on when you’re wrapping gifts at 2 AM. 18 perfect cuts from the likes of Louis Jordan, Canned Heat, John Lee Hooker, Lightening Hopkins, and Sonny Boy Williamson, who gets busted for peeking at “what did she bought me for Santy-claw?” This is the first, and last Xmas music we listen to each year.


One Response to “Top 10 Xmas CDs”

  1. […] of the holidaze, I dusted off my long-neglected, random-thought blog, Brainpile, and posted my Top Ten Christmas CDs […]

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